Foreign Policy Blogs

Thinking big? Start small (to medium).

abanareviewIt’s no surprise that the “biggies”—the McDonalds, the Microsofts, the Boeings—have a MENA presence (MENA=Middle East and North Africa).  But what about small to medium enterprises? How do they even begin to take advantage of this huge (and growing) market of hundreds of millions of consumers?

A great answer can be found in an article, “Key Elements and Approaches Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Can Take to Efficiently and Effectively Tap into MENA Growth Markets,” published in the Summer 2010 edition of the ABANA Review (a publication of the Arab Bankers Association of North America.)  The article, written by Jean AbiNader, with research by Amine Maaouni, of the Moroccan American Trade and Investment Center, highlights free trade agreements, such as the Morocco-US FTA, which can make the market entry process for SME’s less daunting.  Morocco is one of the few countries in the region, along with Jordan and Bahrain, which has an FTA with the US.  Together with its other trade agreements and economic partnerships, there’s a market of more than a billion consumers worldwide—for just Morocco alone.

(For more information for US companies who would like to trade abroad, visit the website of the US Trade and Development Administration.)



Calvin Dark

Calvin Dark is an international policy and strategic communications professional based in Washington, DC. For more than 10 years, he has advised US and international bodies and organizations, primarily focusing on political, economic and cultural relations with Latin America, Western Europe and the Middle East and North Africa. Calvin is also a social media enthusiast trying to connect the world one tweet, post and #hashtag at a time.

Calvin was a Fulbright Scholar to Morocco where he conducted research on civil society’s role in increasing transparency and public confidence in Morocco’s government institutions and services. Calvin received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and French from Duke University and has studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Paris, France. He speaks French, Spanish, Arabic and English (North Carolina’s special dialect.)

Calvin is also passionate about Southern storytelling and oral histories and is the author of Tales From My Dark Side [], a collection of stories about the Darks, a central North Carolina family and their unique ways of reconciling the complex notions of race, community and family.

Anything else? Oh yea, he loves to spin and is a spin instructor.

Contact Calvin at [email protected]